MLB umpire Wally Bell died suddenly on Monday of a massive heart attack. He was 48.
Bell had been a big league umpire for 21 seasons and had been working the NLDS between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. He partook in his final game on October 9th working third base in the Game 5 clincher in St. Louis.
Bell did have a history of heart trouble requiring open heart surgery in 1999. He spent the remaining years of his life doing charity work for the American Heart Association.
Fellow umpire John Hirshbeck said of Bell, “He was like a son to me.”
Although Bell was known for having a wide strike zone, he was generally consistent and was never involved in a major controversial call.
Over the years, Bell officiated in seven ALDS/NLDS, four ALCS/NLDS, two All-Star Games, the 2013 World Baseball Classic and the 2006 World Series.